What YiXing Teapots are Made of

The secret of YiXing teapots is the clay they are made of - ZiSha clay. ZiSha clay is no regular clay and thus YiXing teapots are no ordinary teapots.
YiXing teapots before going into a kiln. They show original ZiSha color.

"Zi" means "purple" while "Sha" means "sand". 

Although with Zi in the name, ZiSha is by no means purple only. ZiSha clay is also know as "5 color clay" because it's basic colors are red, yellow, green, blue and purple. The "Sha" part of the name comes from the fact that ZiSha is comparatively sandy to ordinary clay. Finished YiXing teapots have a smooth and yet slightly grainy surface. That is where the "Sha" characteristics of ZiSha is shown.


Other than YiXing teapots, ZiSah is used to make all sorts of pots. This is a huge but exquisite pot exhibited in YiXing museum.

Chemically, ZiSha is a mixture of clay, quartz and mica. It has a high content of iron. Baking temperature is between 1100C - 1200C, higher than regular clay. Under high temperature, minerals in ZiSha are melted, decomposed and shrunk. Such physics left finished YiXing teapots with micro pores. And it is these pores that give YiXing teapots their unique characteristics: 1) absorb the flavor tea, 2) keep tea in high temperature, 3) don't crack in huge temperature differences.

Best of all, ZiSha is 100% non-toxic.





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